And if it’s the AFC East representative that resides in Orchard Park, New York, there’s probably been plenty of changes on the roster. This offseason, both sides of the football saw their share of arrivals and departures. The defections in 2017 included former first-round picks in cornerback Stephon Gilmore (New England Patriots) and quarterback EJ Manuel (Oakland Raiders).
But this is not a team without talent. Underappreciated signal-caller Tyrod Taylor, running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Sammy Watkins spearhead the offense. McDermott has some pieces to work with when it comes to the defense. Now the team must perform better when facing not only its division opponents but the rest of the AFC as well.
Here is how the complete 2017 schedule lays out for the Buffalo Bills:
In 2016, the Bills managed a 16-0 win over the Tom Brady-less Patriots. But it was the only game they won within the AFC East all season. All told, Buffalo was also 4-8 within the conference this past season. Three of their seven overall wins came against the Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1), Los Angeles Rams (4-12) and San Francisco 49ers (2-14).
McDermott’s new-look defense will get its share of tests this season, especially against those potent offenses of the NFC South. Of course, he’s more than familiar with all of these foes after years of being the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. Those reunions come all be very fascinating this fall.